Karen McEndoo SWAc

Karen McEndoo was born in Carshalton in Surrey very soon after the family moved to Ghana, amongst others in Africa which has had a tremendous influence on her work, inspired particularly by the rich colours, wood carvings and the music.

She originally trained as a graphic designer/illustrator but over time her work has more expressive, finding inspiration in the St Ives Group of artists from the mid twentieth century and has been a regular visitor to the St Ives Society of Artists gallery since the 1990s.

Science and nature are huge influences and she is an avid lover of wildlife. With the art jeweller Sarah Drew Karen founded Terramaterart a group of like-minded women artists whose fundamental aim is to herald the protection of nature Through their art the group present a world full of beauty and fragility and invite onlookers to review their place and their duty to be kind to our planet.

Karen is a full member of:

The Penwith Gallery

St Ives Society of Artists

National Acrylic Painters Association among others

Working Methods:

“Many artists find the idea of a blank canvas daunting and I am no exception. My first task is to break the whiteness by putting down a base colour which, because of the nature of my work, shines through and becomes an intrinsic part, uniting the picture as a whole.I tend not to plan my paintings preferring instead to allow my instinct to dominate, relying more on allowing form and texture to create drama and movement.

Colour is everything to me and I spend a good deal of time mixing the hues and tones until I have arrived at a coherent palette, something I find a genuine pleasure. The rest is generally, albeit an oxymoron, ordered chaos.

Whilst working it is important for me is to disengage the thinking brain and allow instinct to take over. Music is a very good way to achieve this and a frequently design painting playlists.

The act of placing paint onto any surface is rich in possibilities but every bit as fraught with challenges and frustration. Herein lies the crux of the exciting nature of painting, the never knowing what will arrive before you”

– Karen McEndoo

‘Based in Cornwall, Karen McEndoo’s work is drawn from the dichotomy of chaos and humanity’s constant search for balance, exploring the diametric of light and dark, existence, non-existence, matter and anti-matter.

One mechanism to achieve this balance is science- a measured interpretation of man’s encounter with the world. The process of abstraction works similarly as a visual means of navigating these dichotomies.

Within the abstracted chaos discernible shapes rise and blur before reaching formation. Sweeps of colour appear removed, as if filtered through a lens, fighting against the black which quietly pervades many of McEndoo’s paintings.

Opposites existing in the physical qualities of paint itself are explored; flat planes are challenged by exposed layering, muddied hues bleed around strong primaries, texture built is at once reduced.

Bleary forms abut sharp blocks of colour generating a sense of movement; a dancing shift in focus. At first seemingly restful, McEndoo’s work is imbued with a taut energy’.

– Emma Leaper

Instagram @karenmcendoo